Graduate Employment Prospects in Spain: A Legal Fantasy?


This article is written in conjunction with the IEU Law Society.

By Vanessa Chioaru

For numerous years, Spain has consistently ranked as one of the lowest performing members in the European youth employment sector. The figures are as high as 28.34% of the population not working nor studying in 2022. Considering that many university graduates can even be considered overqualified in the job race, the question arises as to what warrants this alarmingly high figure. 

The Spanish labour market as well as the Spanish labour laws, are ill equipped to cover all bases. Considering recent reforms in legislation that provide more opportunity for foreign graduates, one may wonder whether this will be effective in helping future IE graduates secure employment. This article will critically examine the recent legal changes and their possible impact upon the future opportunities of IE students. 

As of July 27th 2022, the Spanish government changed existing immigration laws to provide more inclusivity and opportunity for foreign graduates. International students can now work for up to 30 hours weekly and upon graduating, they can live in Spain for a year while looking for a job. Furthermore, in order to combat employee shortage, companies can urgently fill their positions with workers from non-EU member states without taking into account the national unemployment situation

Despite this attempt, youth unemployment only decreased to 27% in July of 2023, an insignificant change. Considering the fact that statistics from the LLB class of 2022 show that the majority of graduates (60%) went to work abroad after graduating, this begs the question as to whether opportunity is scarce in Spain. And even so, how qualified do you have to be to be part of the 40% of graduates that secure offers in Spain? 

How to Make Yourself a Good Candidate

Despite having the academic qualifications to excel in the international legal field, joining clubs and initiatives that IE University provides can make you stand out in the labour market. IE University provides a broad range of clubs, aiming to offer an opportunity that suits each student’s taste and aspirations. Despite the sometimes confusing or overwhelming platforms on which these opportunities may be found, clubs often promote these through social media, which can make it more accessible to potential participants.

The Law Society itself has carried out numerous events over the months of September and October where experts from various fields have come to share advice and experiences. Some clubs even collaborate to provide larger activities such as the Unbreakable Conference held by the Law Society in collaboration with the Girl Up Club. 

Furthermore, other amazing opportunities to look out for are the NGO and Foundation day which takes place every year or Madrid for Refugees, a non profit organisation where students can volunteer to offer legal advice for asylum seekers. 

Through this dynamic involvement in various activities at IE University, IE graduates could develop a competitive advantage compared to the rest of Spanish students and graduates and consequently render the Spanish employment fantasy a reality.

IEU Law Society
IEU Law Society
The IEU Law Society brings the legal world closer to our university's student body.

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